tv A Nation Builds Under Fire CSPAN October 2, 2016 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT
impossible for mortals to fulfill without humility and insisting attention to the >> a look at tim kaine and mike pence, monday night at 8 p.m. eastern. watch any time on c-span.org and listen at 8 p.m. eastern on the c-span radio app. >> next, on american history tv's "real america," from 50 years ago a u.s. army from from the big picture series. a nation built under fire. a nation built a society in the midst of war. it is introduced by hubert humphrey and narrated by actor john wayne. >> the vice president of the united states. former vp humphrey: i have just been looking over some of the
sketches made in vietnam for the motion picture you are about to see. these are wonderfully strong pictures, they capture the spirit of the people of that country. just take a look at this one. throughout vietnam you see strong faces like this, determined and patient. the story, the hope in the determination of these brave people of south vietnam and what they are doing to build on their hope. it has not been told as often as the story of war in their ravaged land. it is just as true. here are some others. they are really building something over there. they are building the foundations of a society of which they and their children can live in peace and freedom. they are doing this in the midst of an ugly war, forced on them by aggressors who want to
control them. the are doing get with their muscle and their hearts. they are doing it at the ballot box too. in hundreds of hamlets across the land, they are demonstrating their fate. fate in themselves and in their future. they are also showing their faith in us. because we have taken our stand besides them. no one who knows what these determined people are doing and the rightness of their cause. nor can they doubt the rightness of our help. we are making possible the conditions under which they can build their nation. their effort to build that nation is a story that needs to be told. it is a story of men who price freedom, and it is a story honoring them men who put their lives on the line. ♪
john wayne: the story of vietnam today is the story of war. two and the enemy's aggression. -- to end the enemies aggression. it is the story of war's affect on the people who lived in this troubled land. but the untold story of this historic moment in vietnam is one of her heroic adventure. it is a revolutionary undertaking by the people of the republic of vietnam, to transform their national life and construct out of the chaotic legacy of the past, a social order that will work for the betterment of all.
it is the capital city of a nation at war. the strangest war in which americans were involved. it is also the capital of a social rest -- revolution. america's participation in that revolution is just as urgent as its involvement in the war. being at capital city, saigon is the source of south vietnam's revolutionary effort. you have to come out here on the countryside to see what it is all about. the defense department has asked me to help bring you this story of vietnam's attempt to build itself into a nation. to do this, i have called on some expert help. this is lieutenant mark nelson, u.s. navy. he is commander of a division
that prevent infiltration of enemy troops along the coast. this is sergeant shelly blunt of the air force. sergeant kim sanders with the third marine and 50th sources. and spec five dale camry with the 25th infantry division. these fellows are stationed here and they know the country. at least in the special way that americans have come to know it -- writing americans have fun -- come to know it. they know the story and together we will try to give you an informed picture of what it is that is going on over here. we are 15 miles north of saigon. it is a peaceful looking rural community. life goes on here, much as it has for hundreds of years in this part of the world. there is an operation going on a mile or two from here. peace and quiet of this little
village is shattered by the sounds of war. helicopters overhead and everyone's and a while a rumble of artillery. that is one thing you learn after being here in vietnam for a while. a war is never very far away. these hamlets and villages are the real soul of the country. 4/5 of the people of south vietnam live in them. it is here that these dusty trails through the countryside, these huts and farmlands and jungles, that the thrust of vietnam social russell -- revolution is directed. in vietnam, revolution is a double edged war. the enemy uses it, it is what they call the aggressive war they are using against the
people over here. that is the story. there is nothing mysterious about the kind of revolution the enemy has in mind. same thing we have seen in many parts of the world, ever since the communist revolution 50 years ago. over here, they have killed over 20,000 civilian leaders. now to the story of this civilian population. it is public knowledge that these people and their fight for freedom, have lost proportionately already more troops than we have lost in the whole of world war ii. yet, in spite of this, there have always been men brave enough in this country to step forward and take the leadership when most have been killed. it is the same brave people who have had the will and the guts to conduct their own revolution, a real revolution for the betterment of their people. at the same time, they have been fighting a war for their very
survival. >> the government in vietnam is launching a pattern of social misery that has plagued the vietnam people for several generations. the intent to replace it with a society in which the needs of the people can be met. they call it revolution, and it certainly is. they call it nationbuilding, and it is that too. the people over here have never had very much and they want their share. >> they want the things that are important to them. that is what they mean by revolution, and what it is all about. they want a better life. they want social justice, but the guy said he would not call it that. as a matter of fact, he probably would not know what those words mean.
>> he wants to be left alone. he is tired of being frightened, kicked around and beaten up. he wants some dignity. he does not give very much about over here. >> these people my education, it is a key to the future for them. health is another problem. disease is a serious thing. life expectancy is pretty low. some of these people never get to see a doctor. you have to see the way the crowd around some of our medics. these people want to spencer reese and clinics -- dispensaries and clinics so they can live a little longer. john wayne: social justice, if that's what you want to call it, it is desired of not want to be be in that. education for children, health facilities, the hunger for land and to make the landmark vulnerable. these are the people, they are the subjective's of the vietnam revolution. >> they shoot anybody that does not believe them. >> sometimes the people don't
know who to believe. the revolution is dead, but we cannot wait on it and we have to get this war one. if we don't, there will not be a nation to build. [jet blast] >> the social revolution cannot be successful unless the people feel secure and safe. john wayne: the enemy was proud of the technique they had developed for wars of national liberation. who could stop him, not the americans, or so they thought. the leaders of the north vietnamese forces said that the
organization composition of matter -- of american forces were not fit to attack a revolutionary war. i guess they forgot 1776. anyway, we americans must do something about revolution. we developed a revolutionary answer in the fields of these cutthroats terror -- cutthroat terrorists. the viet cong invincibility is dead. america decided a long time ago, in principle that they could stand in vietnam and lay the foundations for that decision when it recognized that aggression against the week could never be permitted to succeed and freedom was to survive. the fighting men in vietnam are
the inheritors of that decision. accolades in the war are easy to give. it was a general agreement that never before in its history, cam -- combat of men ready. fighting men are not philosophers so they do not talk much about freedom. they know their job and they know the annan's efforts to build a nation. -- vietnam's efforts to build a nation. the final outcome of vietnam's story will not be determined in the cities or even in the places of open conflict with the enemy
here it but out here, in the small clusters of rice farmers and fishermen. that captain over there is peter dawkins. a few years ago he was making all-american at west point. now he is up to his eyeballs in a really historic adventure. the effort at the -- of vietnamese government created a nation, a real sense of a nation that has ever existed before. with his help, we hope that we will be able to show you what nationbuilding means. p, you are on. peter: this nationbuilding is an abstract term. what these terms really boil down to is in effort to bring a better way of life to the millions of vietnamese living in these hamlets across the country. this is a staggering undertaking.
the present -- president of vietnam has well overdue his claim to a better state. the government is trying to give a better shake, even while a war is going on. when you look at that fact closely, you discover something truly unique about this war. improving the lives of these people is not just a humanitarian idea, it is safe necessity. every american that comes over here, soon becomes aware of this. >> tomorrow at midnight, you will surround the village and seal it off. if you encounter any vc, you will take your normal combat action. after you seal off the spillage, it will be a little different. at first light, we will take the
government of vietnam. it will be a large group of people going into the spillage. it will -- village. your job is just as important in that you have to convince these people that you are soldiers and you are on their site. you are going to gain their confidence by working with them to build a better life. john wayne: kindness and generosity are not unknown in the american aspect. knowing expected that they would become military weapons as well. that is the kind of a war it was. ♪ john wayne: nonmilitary assistance is also a major part of american contribution to vietnam struggle.
and has been from the beginning. >> i am with the united states agency for international development here in vietnam. i have been here for three years working on the problems. i work on almost everything that is nonmilitary. from building schools, dispensaries, roads and bridges. basically what we have been trying to do is work with the people and help them as much as we can to realize their aims and their wishes. basically, what we are trying to do is help the government response to these needs and wishes. helping the government respond to the needs of the people. >> the u.s. is not alone either, in the contributions of making. this is one of the social centers that is used as schools during today. an iranian surgical team provides badly needed hospital
assistance of one of the districts. 39 nations of the free world today are helping or have promised to help the republic of vietnam in one way or another. all of this is a nervously and helpful to the common cause. these activities can only be considered as the initial step to help get the process started. no matter how successful our troops, our eight id representatives are in winning the support of the people. in the end, that job can only be done by the vietnamese themselves. we can help shrink than the ties of the people to their government, but only that we can only help. the vietnamese know this and they are doing something about it. john wayne: as a matter of fact, what they are doing constitutes
the heart and soul of their efforts for building a nation. >> this is a very special training center. it is for the training of what the vietnamese call, revenue -- revolutionary development. the men who come here, 5000 at a time, 20,000 a year. hopes for vietnam social risk -- they hold the hopes for vietnam social revolution in their hands. they learn the skills and techniques of which to translate those principles into effective actions. >> you may not believe it to look at me, but i am a captain of the united states army. this is the uniform here. i am an advisor here, but only that. the vietnamese are running the show. about half the total training is taken up with military subjects. the job of these men will be to move into areas that have been
subsequently passed through. their first responsibility will to be to take off whether the military left off, and providing security to the area. they are the sons of farmers and fishermen's and have lived all of their lives close to the soil. they do not need instruction on how -- how to harvest the right stuff. techniques for improving the crops are important part of the curriculum. someday, they might turn on justice. they become well schooled in the progress of war. they are built into them constantly. the necessity of reaching the hearts and minds of people that will be working. when they're training is completed at the end of 13
weeks, they are formed into groups to take the revolution, their social revolution to the countryside. >> the program in which these groups are involved begins well before they move into a village. out task either hours or selfie in the mean sweep through the area to clear it. they will chase out any viet cong or enemy unit. then regional forces, companies of troops employed with their province, platoons and squads within a district secure the area with their patrols and small operations. they move in, just in a black pajamas. they look at the world as the president sees it, but also as a soldier might. >> this black pajama uniform is very important. because it is the traditional god, it is easy for the president to identify himself
with the group. a copy against -- it complicates hours because the viet cong wears the same uniform. a work with the people to gain their trust. this is made considerably easier that they are assigned to the districts they grew up with, among the people who know them. john wayne: they are not left entirely on their own, military units on the periphery. these men still carry a heavy share of the responsibility for security. >> within the security, the teams begin rooting out the d.c. if onenfrastructer.
exists. at the same time, the work of the social revolution begins, with a full explanation of the people of exactly what they are in the village for and what they hope to accomplish. >> this is not always an easy step. the overwhelming amount of people are opposed to what it stands for, but the experience have made them work. too often they watch the murder anyone who has cooperated with the government. they have to be persuaded that this will not happen again. >> it is the job of them to do that persuading, and also to persuade the villagers that their welfare is of deep concern for the emerging nation. it went out right away to find out what the people's particular problems are. what is needed the most to improve life in the village. once the problems have been
determined, another team starts organizing the efforts to solve them. this is where the people's first commitments come home. what they must do now is encourage and lead the villagers into tackling the projects themselves. the team will find the necessary materials and supplies to be used. often u.s. sources. the people have to contribute their labor and energy. as their work progresses, they encourage and supervise the election of community leaders. -- it awakens to a sense of its own importance. it feels the storing of faith in itself. and the government, which is demonstrating its compassion when the people of the community began to take their destiny in their hands, that is the transformation of social revolution. it is precisely this that the revolutionary teams are bringing
to the development of vietnam. john wayne: they stay in the village for several months, sometimes a year. when their time -- when their time is through, if they have done it well, they will leave behind a community of people who believe in their future. one of the final missions of the groups is to train a self-defense force for the able-bodied villagers. if they are attacked by the enemy, the commitment is complete. [singing] >> vietnam has a lot riding on
these men, we all have. [singing] john wayne: no one can say with absolute certainty that the end i am is going to succeed in building the nation it wants. during the hardships and trials of war. powerful ideas generate their own growth, even in the most bitter of climates. one of these is the beliefs in individual man's dignity and his right to determine his own course. it is this idea that brings vietnam spirit today. it is an idea that we americans are familiar with.
it is to honor our commitment to this idea that we take our stance, and we will hold our stance in this troubled land of worthy and brave allies. ♪ john wayne: i would like to leave you with one thought of mine. one is to really understand what the vietnamese is trying to do today. we could think of our own country less than two centuries ago. we had one hour where revolution -- won our revolution on the battlefield. 11 years for our founding fathers to build the substance and structured that is now our
great nation. the vietnamese are trying to do both of these things at once. not because they want to, but because they must. because history will not give them the luxury of the time that it once gave us. [singing] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] >> you're watching american history tv. 48 hours of history programming c-span3.kend on follow us on twitter for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. >> we are at the aircraft museum
-- >> at of tuesday's debate, we will take a look back at the candidates using the c-span video library. this storyeen before. turned on the television and seen the bad news of a famine or a weather emergency. there was something in the store yesterday it was different. it was you. your spirit of even in a dark day of optimism, community, and hope. >> the presidency is the most visible thread that crawls through the american government. more often than not for good or ill it sets the tone for the other branches and spurs the expectations of the people. vast and consequential, requiring from the out set the definition of impossible fulfillment without humility and insistent attention to purposes as set for